Tuesday, February 23, 2016
January retail sales excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services increased 0.6%, according to the Commerce Department. Among retailers reporting monthly comp-store sales, L Brands was up 4.0%, Gap was down 8.0%, Rite Aid was up 1.4%, and Costco sales rose 1.0%. See our sales reports on Page 4...Pizza Hut plans to remodel 700 stores a year through 2022 to a new modern look with pendant-style industrial lighting and exposed rock walls. Pizza Hut has 6,400 US locations...Ronny Shmoel and Albert Liniado acquired the brand, domain, and associated trademarks of Circuit City last year from Systemax, which bought them in a bankruptcy auction, and plan to revive the brand under the name Circuit City Corp., with retail stores, web sales, branded and private-label products, licensed kiosks, mobile shops and franchise opportunities. The company will open its first store in June, most likely in the Dallas market, and relaunch CircuitCity.com. They expect to have 50 to 100 corporate-owned stores running by next year and eventually an additional 100 to 200 franchised locations. Stores will range from 2,000 to 4,000 s/f...Staples and Office Depot said that they will sell more than $550 million in their large corporate contract business and related assets to office supply wholesaler Essendant Inc. in a move to appease federal regulators and expedite the $6.3 billion merger of the two firms. Essendant will pay Staples approximately $22.5 million. The deal is subject to the completion of the proposed merger. In December, the FTC moved to block the proposed merger citing the deal’s potential to eliminate competition.